Wildlife, human and environmental costs of using lead ammunition: An economic review and analysis

Publication Year:

A proposed European Union (EU)-wide restriction on the use of lead gunshot for shooting in and over wetlands estimated that the societal benefits of a restriction outweighed costs, despite few identified benefits being quantified economically. A subsequent Annex XV Investigation Report on the evidence of impacts of lead ammunition in terrestrial environments concluded that additional measures to control its use are warranted, although to date this has not been further evaluated. To help inform this process, we review the literature and undertake new analyses to estimate the costs of continued use of lead ammunition associated with impacts on wildlife, people and the environment. We estimate minimum annual direct costs across the EU and Europe of c. €383 million - €960 million and €444 million - €1.3 thousand million respectively. The value that society places on being able to avoid these losses, estimated using a ‘willingness to pay’ approach, was c. €2.2 thousand million for wildfowl alone. Our estimated costs of the continued use of lead ammunition across the EU appear to be considerably greater than the likely costs of switching to non‐toxic alternative ammunition types, although these have not been formally estimated in full. Keywords: Birds, bullets, evaluation, financial, gunshot, society.

Publication Title:


Item Type:
Journal Article

EIS custom tag descriptions